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August 2016
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Eclipse TD-M1 Wireless Speaker System
Accurate sound meets seductive styling.

Review By Dwayne Carter

 

Eclipse TD-M1 Wireless Speaker System Review

  My Editor has an odd sense of humor. For my last review, he sent me something out of the 1770's with iFi Audio's Retro System - Stereo 50 Integrated Amp/DAC and LS3.5 speakers. This time he sent me something from the future: The Eclipse TD-M1 wireless stereo speaker system. Have you seen the movie Aliens? Yes. Well then, picture the Aliens head mounted on short speaker stands. That's what's been inhabiting my desk for the past few months.

 

E.T. Phone Home
The Eclipse TD-M1 wireless speaker system consists of a left and right speaker, a power adapter, Wi-Fi antenna, quick start guide and printed manual. My review system arrived in gloss black, with the other color option being gloss white. The FedEx man arrived with a heavy, double-walled cardboard box. Each orb (speaker) was individually packed and very well protected. Pulling each orb out, I was surprised at the weight. These little things are heavy at about 5.5 pounds each and quite solid. The knuckle wrap test left them bruised. Finished in a smooth high-polish piano black gloss exterior, the TD-M1 is quite striking, which is cool.

Placing a speaker on each side of my dual monitor PC setup, the Eclipse TD-M1 wireless stereo speaker system fits right in. Hi-Res Music will mainly come from my Mac, and from the Questyle QP1R. Am one of those guys who works 9 to 5 in front of my PC. The Quick Start Guide consisted of pictures and icons so as to be universal no matter what language you understand. A casual review of the full-sized manual and my Zen-like demeanor was satisfied. The initial setup process was very easy to accomplish. While the Eclipse TD-M1 system consists of two orbs (speakers), only the base of one speaker holds the input/output connection that is noted as the right channel speaker within the manual. The right channel loudspeaker contains all the input/output connections, while the left channel loudspeaker housed a single stereo input. You simply place the speakers where you want them, then connect the right speaker to the left speaker and you're almost done. Connect the included power cable and you're good to go. As long as each speaker is within five feet of each that is. It's doubtful that this limitation will be an issue for most, though what if I wanted to place my speakers a little farther apart. As I'll learn a bit later, speaker placement is a bit critical on one hand, yet unimportant on the other. Read on to learn more on this.

 

Who Are You... Who Who, Who Who
Once the speakers were in place and powered up, it was time to start connecting my sources. The Eclipse TD-M1 wireless speaker system's right channel base has six input/outputs marked Power Input Terminal, AUX IN terminal (a 3.5mm stereo jack), USB Type A, USB Type B, Left Channel Speaker output cable, and Antenna terminal. I simply connected the USB output from my Mac to the USB Type B terminal and the headphone output from my Questyle QP1R portable music player to the AUX IN terminal. I recently rewired my systems with Audioquest cables, and so I was eager to tryout some new components. For my office system, Audioquest's Big Sur 3.5mm stereo cable from the DAP, and Audioquest USB Cinnamon cable from the USB A port on the Mac, then to USA B port on the Eclipse TD-M1. Powering up the unit is easy as you touch an invisible spot (as indicated in the manual) on the right channel speaker's base. I waited.

 

Eclipse TD-M1 Wireless Speaker System

 

And waited. I pressed the area again and waited some more. Looking at the base of the right channel speaker you will see nothing. No buttons, knobs, switches, indents or grooves. There appeared to be nothing to indicate an on or off button. The Eclipse TD-M1 system has touch sensors and LED indicators for all functions. Since I prefer my office a bit on the dark side, plus am getting a bit old, there are small yet powerful flashlights within every room including my desk. A brief shine of my trusty tactical flash light and I there it was! Directly above the Eclipse logo is a grey-out Power icon, seven small to large dots and UP/DOWN arrows. Touching the Power icon and a small amber led begins to glow, which turns to green, once ready.

As is my process, once I have successful power-up, I stop. During the entire reviewing process this is the most difficult part. I don't hit play on my DAP or select a file from my Mac that is currently running Audirvana Plus software. I stop, and then scan through the manual. With any new system it is always wise to check for software and firmware updates. Note that Eclipse's TD-M1 wireless speaker system did not require any firmware updates, with the most recent update being released in December 2014. I did take the opportunity to download the Eclipse TD Remote App from the Apple App Store. This App would prove to be critical to my enjoyment of the Eclipse system.

Since I was on their excellent and informative website, I took the opportunity to look around a bit. A clear, easy to maneuver, fast loading website is critical these days. It is usually the first thing a potential client/customer will notice about your product; and sometimes, the last. The Eclipse website is quite good and so within minutes I was able to deduce that not only does Eclipse manufacture many more products such as a full-line of speakers, subwoofers and accessories, they have added many awards too. I was able to find specs, software downloads, manuals and more. Very nice and very appreciated. I also learned that Eclipse is part of the Global Fujitsu Ten empire. While I've never heard of Eclipse, I knew Fujitsu very well. Their manual in PDF form was very useful during my review process.

 

Release The Kraken
Sitting in front of my monitors, I adjusted the speakers so they were aiming directly at my ears. The speakers have a steering wheel-like pull lever underneath that you simply pull down on the lever, adjust the speaker (0 to 20 degrees), then move the lever back up. The speakers themselves are 8cm full-range cones and come with removable grills. They look very elegant with the grills on or off. My preference was off, as I found them a little loose when installed. Placing the grills within the shipping container it is finally time for some music!

There are multiple ways to listen to your connected devices on the Eclipse TD-M1 wireless speaker system. You can choose between AirPlay (Wi-Fi mode or Direct mode), USB (type A and B), and the AUX connection. Since I have good Wi-Fi coverage, I started with AirPlay in W-iFi mode (recommended over Direct Mode). To choose the input, you select the power source control on the front of the TD-M1. Yes, the power icon and source icon are one and the same and so tap the icon until you reach a desired input. The inputs are configured from AirPlay, USB B, USB A and AUX. Small indicator lights in the front will follow along. The UP and DOWN arrows double as volume controls and Network switchers. Network connections are relatively easy to understand, with the manual in hand, patience, and a little practice. Not to brag, but I'm a network engineer and so I had to think about my network flow from time to time. You really are choosing between Wi-Fi mode or Direct mode. You either attach the TD-M1 to your network (via router) or connect to it with a compatible device (iPhone). After an hour of playing around with the different options, I selected the Wi-Fi mode and the Eclipse TD Remote App.

 

 

These days, if your device has a DAC but doesn't have an App I am a bit concerned. The Eclipse TD Remote App is simple to use and has everything you need. There is a small delay with the volume slider, as is true with all network-accessed control devices, so use caution when adjusting the volume. The speakers are usually 20" from my face, so I learned quickly. Selecting USB B, flipped to my Audirvana Plus App, chose my Reviewers Playlist and flipped back to the Eclipse TD Remote to adjust the volume.

Obviously, the AirPlay setup will allow you to place and control the Eclipse TD-M1 virtually anywhere, which is very cool. True Wi-Fi mode setup takes a while longer, but will allow the TD-M1 to function more like your Apple TV box. Direct mode grabs your Wi-Fi connection, so you can't use it for streaming for Tidal, Spotify and the like. Using the USB A connection lets you connect to the TD-M1 with your iPhone or iPod. As a bonus, the USB A port will charge them as well. That's a very handy little feature as we all know you always need more power. As mentioned, the USB B port is your go to for your laptop, tablet, TV or even a CD player. A great deal of music was played through the AUX IN terminal (3.5mm stereo jack) and the headphone output from my Questyle QP1R portable music player. I did a lot of A/B comparison between the AUX IN and the USB B inputs. The Questyle QP1R portable music player is used virtually every day, so it is a great baseline. I know what a particular song sounds like on this DAP.

The Eclipse TD-M1 wireless speaker system is stuffed with some very impressive high-end audio electronics. The USB ports utilizes a top quality USB controller capable of 24-bit/192kHz. The DAC is a nice sounding non-oversampling type, and for sound amplification they include a high-efficiency Class D digital amp. By this time it was growing late, and so selected a few songs from my playlist to check for sound. As is my process, to introduce a bit of commonality and objectivity into my review process, starting with the Hi-Res Audio collection and working my way down in sound quality. I started with my usual Hi-Res Audio pieces such as Michael Jackson's Thriller (DSD64), Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever (FLAC 24-bit/96kHz), and Billy Joel's The Stranger (AIFF 24/88.2kHz) just to make sure I could play all formats.

 

Sounding Off
My immediate thoughts were tight, controlled, and clear sound. That's always a good start. I put the playlist on repeat, lowered the volume and called it a night. The following morning I rebooted all devices and settled in for some solid listening. I prefer classical in the morning, so selecting the latest addition to my playlist The Venetian Concerto's (AIFF-C 16-bit/44.1kHz) by David Chesky I settled in to check my email. Movement after movement played and I ended up listening to the entire album. It was just me, my keyboard, and my constant desktop companion Domino.

Good sound quality doesn't call attention to itself. It simply is. The Eclipse TD-M1 wireless speaker system simply blended in to my desktop environment. It didn't distract or call attention to itself. Classical music rolled from the speakers with a tonality that was clear, crisp and clean. High to midrange frequencies were balanced, with no discernable drop off from one range to another. Midrange and Mid-bass were somewhat lacking, which is true in most classical pieces, and so it was time to wake everyone up. The Weeknd's The Hills is currently my deep bass bottoming song of choice. I wasn't expecting the Eclipse TD-M1 system to put me into cardiac arrest. Simply wanted to hear where the deepest bass floor was living and found it. To the credit of the 8cm full-range cones, they were able to produce quite good mid-bass and roll off the ultra-low sub-bass naturally. I didn't try to flatten the cones with my special Sub-Woofer Test List (it's a devastating list, ask me about it sometime). I was impressed how these orbs continued to deal with this much bass, and yet still produce good sound. True, the low-bass seemed to roll off around 70Hz, but the mid-bass was very satisfying.

 

 

Over the next several weeks, the Eclipse TD-M1 wireless speaker system blended into my daily grind. Five to six days a week, for three to six hours a day. Music, whatever mood I was in, the Eclipse TD-M1 system performed on demand. Not a bump or bounce, just smooth transitioning from the high-treble to mid's, and finally to the bass. Clearly, the engineers spent a great deal of time with these speakers. The design engineers hit the R&D checkbook hard.

No one should expect full range sound quality including hard hitting sub-bass (20Hz and below) with 8cm cones. If you do, well, you have other issues, perhaps one of them being in not fully understanding physics. After reviewing the Eclipse website and noting their range of speakers includes subwoofers, perhaps this would be a great time for me to add an impressive looking Eclipse TD520SW subwoofer? So if you're into music that has quite a bit of deep bass, you should also check out their line of subwoofers.

 

 

The Entire World's A Stage
Let talk soundstage. To quote the Eclipse website, "The adoption of an oval-rounded form to suppress both internal standing waves and to minimize the diffraction effect that occurs from the front baffle angle". This informs me that they designed the speakers to look like the creature from Aliens for a reason. That gives me even more confidence in the design. They are not just trying to be cool and gimmicky. My placement of these desktop speakers proved to be a simple task. The left and right speakers are about 36" apart. Aimed at my head, at about a 15 degree pitch, the sound "bubble" was completely enveloping. Move 12" left or right and you had immediate image dropout. You were out of the sound bubble. The more I listened to the Eclipse TD-M1 wireless speaker system, the more they reminded me of an old friend from my studio days. The speakers that every recording studio had to have. Yes, am referring to the Yamaha NS-10 speakers. These near-field (compact or close-field) design are a far cry visually from the TD-M1, but sonically, very close. Very accurate, without any coloration. Just keep them on your desk and pointed at your face.

 

In A Relationship, It's All About Communication
The Eclipse TD-M1 system is rich in the connectivity field. Do you live on the AirPlay? It's got that. You can connect directly to the TD-M1(via the Wi-Fi antenna) or add it to your network. The Wi-Fi option takes just seconds. Of course, AirPlay will limit you to 16-bit/44kHz compared to a possible 24-bit/192kHz resolution with the direct wired option. Since I'm not a bit AirPlay user, I had to load some music into my iPhone 6 to test out the Airplay functionality. Honestly, it didn't sound that bad. It was flat and lacked the depth and body that I've become accustomed to with low-end audio; but you can't expect too much from an MP3 file. I wanted to test this out, so I listened to "Let it Go" by James Bay (MP3 320kbs) via AirPlay. Switching to my primary setup consisting of Audirvana Plus software, the Mac, and USB B into the TD-M1, as you'd expect the song file at AIFF 24-bit/192kHz was a more pleasurable listening experience. Audirvana Plus software actually listed the DAC output at 32-bit/192kHz.

 

Wrapping It Up
I liked virtually everything about the Eclipse TD-M1 wireless speaker system. For those seeking accurate sound quality, such as audiophiles and recording studio engineers, these desktop monitors are very impressive. By adding one of their powered subwoofers you achieve full-on, full frequency playback. Since I spend 8 to 12 hours a day sitting at a desk, my working environment is critical for my mental health. And so boxing up the TD-M1 will make me sad, and that's a good thing as it means I will miss them greatly. The Eclipse TD-M1 wireless speaker system is a wonderful piece of high fidelity gear that will be missed. Have (literally) had it in my face for several weeks now and have grown accustomed to its clean, sharp looks, incredible sound, and easy functionality. I even find myself petting the piano black orbs, as I ponder my next audio quest. You should see if your local dealer carries the Eclipse TD-M1, and of course check them out at the many high-end audio shows around the world.

 

Tonality

Sub-bass (10Hz - 60Hz)

Mid-bass (80Hz - 200Hz)

Midrange (200Hz - 3,000Hz)

High Frequencies (3,000Hz On Up)

Attack

Decay

Inner Resolution

Soundscape Width Front

Soundscape Width Rear
Soundscape Depth Behind Speakers

Soundscape Extension Into Room

Imaging

Fit And Finish

Self Noise

Value For The Money

 

Specifications
Type: Full range amplified bass reflex speaker with 8-cm cone
Frequency Response: 70Hz to 30kHz
Rated Output: 20 Watts nominal, 25 Watts maximum
Harmonic Distortion: 0.08% (at 10W output, 1kHz)
Signal To Noise Ratio: better than 90dB
Inputs: Wi-Fi, USB B, USB A, and 3.5mm stereo analog
Input Sensitivity: 950mVrms
Input Impedance: 10kOhms
Dimensions: 155mm x 242mm x 219m (WxHxD)
Weight: 5.3 kg per pair
Accessories: Two grilles, AC adapter, and antenna
Color: White / black or all black
Price: $999

 

Company Information
Eclipse (Fujitsu Ten) 
E-mail: sales@lao.ten.fujitsu.com  
Website: www.Eclipse-TD.com

 

United States Distributor
On A Higher Note
P.O. Box 698
San Juan Capistrano CA 92693 

Voice: (949) 544-1990 
Fax: (949) 612-0201
Website: www.OnAHigherNote.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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